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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 178-185

Eustachian tube dysfunctions due to mask among quarantined healthcare professionals during COVID-19 pandemic: A cross-sectional study from Nuh, Haryana (India)

1 Department of Community Medicine, SHKM Government Medical College, Nalhar, Haryana, India
2 Department of General Medicine, ESIC Medical College & Hospital, Faridabad, Haryana, India
3 Department of Nuclear Medicine, PGIMS, Rohtak, Haryana, India
4 Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College, Shahdol, Madhya Pradesh, India
5 Department of Ear, Nose and Throat, SHKM Government Medical College, Nalhar, Haryana, India

Correspondence Address:
Vikas Gupta
Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College, Shahdol, Madhya Pradesh.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/MJBL.MJBL_63_20

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Background: Hand hygiene and personal protective equipment (PPE) are the key factors to prevent COVID-19 disease among healthcare workers. The documented side effects of continuous use of mask or PPE are dermatitis, but its effects on eustachian tube seems to be neglected. Objectives: So, we conducted this study by keeping our main objective as to investigate the eustachian tube dysfunctions (ETDs) due to continuous use of mask among healthcare professionals (HCPs) in district Nuh, Haryana. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among 217 eligible HCPs. The sample size was calculated as 97 considering unknown prevalence of ETDs among HCPs (50%), so all HCPs were included in the study. We developed a structured questionnaire in which responses were close-ended and it attempted to capture the responses of the study participants and an association between variables was considered significant if the P-value was <0.05. Results: Out of the 217 subjects, only 207 subjects provided their written consent after understanding the study objectives and 206 were included in the analysis as one subject has pre-existing ear disease. The daily hours of mask usage among 52.4% of participants was between 4 and 8 h; 2.6% of doctors experienced severe pain and pressure in the ear. The Eustachian Tube Dysfunction Patient Questionnaire-7 (ETDQ-7) score was significantly higher among females and mask usage of four or more hours (P < 0.05). Conclusion: The present study revealed that 42.3% of the participants had ETDs. The results will facilitate hospital-level administration to provide practical recommendations to medical workers such as head-supported mask instead of ear-supported masks and use of ear protectors.

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